By any measure, the Mequon-Thiensville community commands a premium position relative to other cities and towns in the metropolitan Milwaukee area. As residents, we enjoy many benefits from this position, the most tangible of which are enhanced property values relative to our immediate neighbors to the north, south and west.
While many elements contribute to this premium position, none is more apparent and pervasive than the enduring quality of our public schools. From graduation rates to performance on standardized testing to participation in advanced placement offerings, our M-T school district ranks among the top districts in the state. Most of us have a general sense for this, but few of us have an understanding of or appreciation for the obstacles that our district has surmounted over the past thirteen years in order to maintain this standard of excellence.
Our district has lost over 600 students, closed one school and operated on an ever-constricting budget. At the same time, our academic performance has remained steady and in many cases has actually improved. The credit for this performance goes to many: beginning with students and their parents to an uncommonly dedicated faculty to administrators and superintendents. But ultimately, the accountability for school performance lies with the School Board.
Through these past thirteen years of performance in the face of increasing challenges, there has been one constant on the M-T School Board: the steady presence and leadership of Suzette Urbashich. For the past three years, she has been the president of the Board, after serving as a member for the 10 previous years.
It’s tempting to focus exclusively on the financial challenges faced by the Board, as they are numerous and multiplying. However, working in partnership with Superintendent Means and her fellow board members, Suzette has been able to maintain a balanced focus for the board, with equal emphasis on academic mission and stewardship of taxpayer dollars in support of that mission. The results speak for themselves.
At a time when others might throw up their hands and declare victory, Suzette is running for re-election. In effect, she’s signing up for combat duty as the way forward promises to be doubly challenging. By dint of her experience, Suzette understands better than anybody how best to maintain the standard of excellence to which the rest of us have grown accustomed. It is Suzette who has served us for 13 years that have been more like dog years. It is Suzette who is best equipped to be at the helm while our district navigates the tricky course that lies ahead. It is Suzette who will receive our first vote among the Board candidates.
We encourage you to join us and re-elect Suzette Urbashich to the Mequon Thiensville School Board on April 5th.
Jack & Patti Rooney
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